Film Year in Review {cleveland film photographer}

Should I be blogging a bunch of catch up sessions from fall? Yep.

Am I going to blog a bunch of catch up sessions from fall? Outlook not good.

Instead, I spent the last three days (t h r e e D A Y S) building collages for end of year reviews! This is going to be a little sweary, in case you’re new to me 😉
Cleveland had its ups and downs, like everywhere else this year. I didn’t think I’d use as much film as I do in “normal” times- which is about a roll a week, and more or less that was true. I didn’t hardly shoot any personal work in November at all- I think I took four pictures. But having my kids home from school (we do online school right now) gives me a few more opportunities to photograph them. My personal film work this year heavily features my daughters and my cats. We added two kittens to our family bringing the cat total to four and while you might think, “Oh kittens! How fun!” it’s pretty much been hell on earth, because my little orange cat Beep haaaates the kittens. Like, physically attacking, climbing walls, shredding doors in order to break into their safe space. We’re finally after five months making VERY small steps toward a cease fire but it’s still really, really awful to see my sweet Beep kitty so upset. If I had a time machine and knew what I know now, I would not have adopted the kittens. They’re adorable and would have been adopted elsewhere, I’m sure though Hannah had some long term health issues that make her a bit more complicated…

Whoa, I think I blacked out there- was I just going on about the cats? Oy. I do that a lot lately. Anyway, onto the pictures!

These were in chronological order, but it got really freaking hard to keep it that way so we’re going to roll backwards through time. This batch is fall through end of year. The cool red film is a speciality film called DubbleFilm: Solar. It shot really cool, but the red was SUPER overpowering in a lot of the images. The rainbow film is DubbleFilm: Jelly. I keep calling it the wrong name but it is JELLY. The color film in this batch is Kodak Portra 400. I shoot Portra at 200 instead of the 400 speed.

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Here we go with a bit of early fall, and late summer. Beep is the first picture, first row. We spent a day at my family’s farm in September (I think for my birthday) and had a grape fight in the vineyards, I got to visit a really cool place called Umbrella Alley, and I took eleventy kajillion photos of my daughters. I have been practicing my double exposures which you can see below.

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More summer, more speciality Jelly film, softball when it was safe to be outside, my girls, sunlight., my mom, and cats. Did I mention, I have cats? This film is pretty much June-early August.

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Ah springtime, when everything had shit the bed and we were trying to get used to lockdown. Beep and Olive my adult cats make cameos. I also used a specialty film called DubbleFilm:BubbleGum but wasn’t super impressed with it. Some of this is Bubblegum, but most is my mystery film. I shot the last roll of mystery film in August! It lasted about a year, and out of all 30 odd rolls, only one was damaged. It was all over 20 years old, having expired in 1998.

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And this takes us from the first of 2020 through March. All the black and white film is Ilford Delta 400, that I shot at 200. I freaking love BW film- it’s so classic and pretty and you cannot f- it up. The color film shots are one of my first attempts with portra 400. I rated it at 200 as well. Film can handle a bit of over exposure, where digital canNOT handle over exposure. The latitude and forgiving nature of film is probably my favorite. If you’re techy, I only use the camera’s own meter for all of this. When I do client work, I use my hand held Sekonic, but I 100% trust my Nikon F100’s meter. I started taking photos of out Christmas Tree all blurry and out of focus- because that’s what it looks like when I take my glasses off. Even though I can’t make out the shapes, the color melts all into itself and looks really cool. (My rX is pretty bad, I’m a -10.25 and a -9.75 now, so when I say I can’t see, I mean I really can’t see). I took some newborns on film, though I wish I had used my good fabric backdrop. Lessons learned 😀 How hopeful we were at the start of 2020. What a kick in the teeth this bitch turned out to be.

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I am looking forward to 2021, with caution because if you know anything about the Luck of the Irish you know we don’t count our chickens before they’re hatched. I am excited to see what science does with additional vaccines, and how much more we can learn about preventing other mass outbreaks and hopefully another 350,000 people don’t have to die preventable deaths. I look forward to being able to open my studio again and being able to have families come by for newborn sessions, milestones… all the cute goodies. I can’t wait to shoot more snow sessions, to get back into working in Spring (watch for those Mommy and Me limited sessions in spring if things are OK!).
I want to look forward to the days where all four of my cats can be freely moving through the house, but I’m not sure that day will ever come. I look forward to not worrying about whether or not my RN sister can find childcare while she is forced to work overnight shifts because her co-workers are falling sick and/or quitting because they are so overworked. I look forward to being able to see my family in PA again, and hugging my dad; maybe I’ll even be able to work in PA for a weekend! I look forward to seeing my nephew Caleb in the hat he doesn’t go anywhere without, and my nephews Colin and Jameson even though they totally love UncleDosh more than Mean Aunt Wenny. Thanks for coming with me on this long, rambling personal film retrospective 😉

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